The Watering Hole: Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Where the Earth meets the Sky

A Modern Parable by Briseadh na Faire

The young man flopped his rucksack down underneath the giant oak and picked through the contents, looking for something to eat. He was muttering beneath his breath and swatting at the flies that annoyed him. Soon he was dining on a morsel of dried meat, some bread and water from a drinking gourd.

A Traveler in a white robe came up the path near the oak. He had a birch walking staff, and various pouches were tied to the cord ’round his waist. The Traveler paused, leaned on his staff and looked at the young man. “It’s a fine day.” he said.

“It would be nicer if it were a bit cooler,” replied the young man, “and if there weren’t so many flies.” he added.

“True.” said the Traveler as he closed his eyes for a moment. A cool breeze came up from the East, and a dragonfly zipped by gathering its meal for the day. “Where are you headed?” asked the Traveler.

“To the horizon.” said the young man, speaking as he bit into the bread.

“The horizon?” asked the Traveler. “That’s a long journey. What is it you seek?”

“Years ago I went to a wise man and asked him where I would find enlightenment. He told me to go and sell all I had and give him the proceeds, because enlightenment is very precious.” replied the young man.

“And did you?” The Traveler approached the shade and sat next to the young man.

“Yes.” the young man continued, washing down another bite of bread. “And then he told me the secret.”

“The secret?

“The secret to enlightenment. I was so excited I could barely contain myself.” The young man paused. He was about to share the secret to a complete stranger; the secret that had cost him everything he owned to purchase. He looked at the Traveler, who removed a pear from one of the pouches on his belt and began eating. “This man is poor, he has nothing,” the young man thought. “He cannot afford the secret.” And the young man felt compassion for the Traveler, for although enlightenment is indeed precious, it should also be shared.

The young man leaned towards the Traveler and said in a low voice, “Enlightenment is on the horizon. When I reach the horizon, I will reach enlightenment. You can come with me if you like.”

The Traveler took another bite of the sweet pear and drew in the dirt beneath the great oak; a line cutting through a circle. “Tell me,” the Traveler asked, “where is the horizon?”

“Why, it’s where the earth meets the sky.” the young man exclaimed.

“And how long have you been traveling towards the horizon?” continued the Traveler.

“Three years now.” was the young man’s answer.

“I should think that would be quite long enough.” responded the Traveler as he finished the pear. He placed the core near an ant hill.

“What do you mean?” the young man felt slightly insulted. He had traveled a great distance in three years, crossing plains and mountains and deserts and oceans. He was getting closer to the horizon with every step. Surely a few more days, a week, a month at most, and he would be on the horizon.

The Traveler drew another circle. “Look to the east.” he said as he drew a short line at the east of the circle. “To the south, the west, the north.” and the circle had four short lines at each point of the compass. “If you had the eyes of an eagle, you might see someone standing on the horizon any direction you look.”

“The enlightened ones!” the young man’s heart danced in his breast. The Traveler sighed and an eagle cried plaintively overhead.

“Why do you say that?” the Traveler asked.

“Because they are standing where the sun meets the sky!” was the young man’s reply.

“Look above you, past the leaves of the oak. What do you see?” directed the Traveler.

“The sky, of course.”

“And below you?”

“The earth.” replied the young man. “What is your point?”

“The point is,” and the Traveler leaned in, “that where you are sitting, right here beneath this oak, on this very spot, is where the earth meets the sky.”

The young man pulled back as if he had just been struck a blow on the forehead. He blinked in uncomprehending disbelief. Ants were rejoicing at the gift left by the Traveler as they hurried to devour the remains of the pear and bring its sweet fruit into their nest.

“If you stand and go over to that stone,” the Traveler continued, “you will be standing where earth meets the sky. And if you climb that hill,” he pointed to a nearby hill, “or descend into that pit, you will be where the earth meets the sky. No matter where you go, you will be where the earth meets the sky.”

“But,” the young man stammered, “but, that means enlightenment is … is everywhere!”

The Traveler smiled and stood. Sunlight filtered through the leaves of the oak, striking the back of his head, giving it the appearance of a golden glow. The eagle cried again as it circled overhead. The young man looked up to catch a glimpse of the bird. When he looked back again, the Traveler was gone.

“Enlightenment is everywhere.” the young man thought, as a new excitement filled his being. He stood up in the shade beneath the giant oak, took a deep breath, and started off in a new direction.

(copyright 2006 Briseadh na Faire)

This is our Open Thread. What’s on your mind today?

136 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Wednesday, April 27, 2011

  1. Very nice, BnF.

    Today as I look outside, everything is green and the trees are flowering. The American redbud is beginning to fully bloom. As I was driving home from work last night, I had to stop the car and roll down the windows so that I could listen to the beautiful sound of the Spring peepers. Are there American redbuds out West? Does WA and OR have Spring peepers?

  2. Cats, I got curious as to your questions.

    Eastern (American) Redbud Map

    From Wiki:
    Geographic range and habitat
    The Southern Spring Peeper occurs only in southeastern Georgia and northern Florida, United States. Its northern conspecific occurs in the entire United States east of the Mississippi and spreads to eastern and central Canada.

    Apparently your intended move west will leave both behind. But I’m betting the indigenous species out there will afford you new treasures of nature with which to become familiar.

    We get our redbuds blooming about a week before the dogwoods come out. This neighborhood was a pink and white explosion about a month ago.

    Nature has been acting ignorant here this morning, however. The tornado sirens woke me about six, for a storm that missed me by twenty miles. The weather folk say this morning was just the preview for what will happen this afternoon.

  3. Cats, there are California Redbuds in bloom out here.

    Lass, the photo is from the Sonoma Coast, looking west at sunset.

  4. Be safe House. It sounds like my turn comes tomorrow, when I’m supposed to be planting 1,000 itty bitty lisianthus.

  5. Zoo – the power of the Big Lie has just been acknowledged. Say it loud, often and deny the truth long enough…..

    The clock just struck thirteen…

    • Turtle, I heard that Obama gave an excellent slap down to Chuck Todd in particular. I wish he hadn’t released the “long form,” since it won’t do a damn bit of good. He should have just said, “I don’t have time for this bullshit.”

  6. I’m watching a big blob in north Misissippi, and it looks like I’m only going to catch the eastern edge of it. It’s tracking straight at Nashville.

    Outstanding, I think it’s moving faster than that. It’s gone from Huntsville to Knoxville in three hours.

    I don’t have a basement, but a neighbor has a shelter about fifty yards from my back door. I’ve never had to get in it, because the storm tracking has gotten so specific.

    That’s cool about the California redbuds. They probably have some kind of noisy little frogs out there too.

  7. The birthers will not be satisfied until they are given the original long form birth certificate, so they can burn it and claim Obama was born in Manchuria.

  8. Zooey,

    It won’t be enough. Already Fox news Channel is casting doubts by saying that the White House released “what it says” is Obama’s long-form birth certificate. Why cast doubt on it when they have no evidence whatsoever that it isn’t what the WH says it is?

    Now, what information is on this “long form” (which appears to be the same length as the “short form”) that isn’t on the short form and that proves, once and for all, what the short form didn’t?

    And if Trump and all the other idiotic birthers are so convinced that Obama was born in Kenya, then why are they looking in Hawaii for proof? Does Hawaii keep track of every child born on the planet? If they were so convinced he was born in Kenya, why didn’t they go there to look for proof? To me, that just shows that they accept the fact that he was born in Hawaii.

  9. Of all the things the White House could have released, I would have rather seen the footage from all the external Pentagon surveillance cameras on 9/11.

  10. Tronald Dump’s campaign by gossip has already moved on to “I heard he wasn’t that good of a student” asking for Obama to release his report cards, K-law school.

    And if Obama does, Fox will say, “The White House released what ‘it says’ are President Obama’s transcripts.”

    These manufactured controversies are designed to do one thing: provide a distraction to argue about while the Robber Barrons keep raiding this country of its wealth and resources.

  11. I’m watching a big blob in north Misissippi…

    Haley Barbour?

    No this isn’t always visible from the satellite photos.

  12. It won’t be enough.

    They will now ask why it took so long, and say it must be a forgery. It’s not about the birth certificate. It’s the fact that there is a black man in the White House, they hate him, and they have been given a wonderful excuse to hate him and have his presidency de-legitimized. He’s not the ‘legitimate’ president, and so therefore they don’t have to follow or support him, and they can hate him till the cows come home.

    Trump is doing such a terrible disservice to this country by raising so many unfounded (manufactured) doubts about President Obama. It’s a game to him, he’s a shallow, stupid, greedy, arrogant, lying bully and he wants to win. He can say whatever he wants by suggesting “he heard..” without supporting whatever he suggests with actual proof. It plants doubts and gets the crazies all riled up. He’s enjoying this. This school transcripts suggestion is just plain jealousy (and hatred) because Trump couldn’t get into those schools.

  13. This just in from Captain Obvious:

    Depsite releasing his birth certificate, Barack Obama appears to still be president while black.

  14. Quote of the Day:

    “I think the media is loving this because they want to make Birthers as they call people who are just curious about the President of the United States and his background, and his associations, and his consistency with what he says today versus what he said in both the memoirs that he wrote, or Bill Ayers or whomever wrote. Uh the media is, is loving the fact that some curious Americans are actually asking the questions, and they’re trying to make those curious Americans sound kind of crazy so the media is loving this issue and they’re perpetuating this issue trying to make it sound really worse than it is,” – Sarah Palin, apparently without irony.

    • I watched The Ed Show last night on MSNBC. There was a clip called “Americans Feel Gas Price Blues” where about midway, Speaker John Boehner gave away the Republican game plan for this election, and how they plan to defeat the president in his re-election bid..
      1: “If the economy doesn’t get better, then I don’t think he’ll win.” (So, they’ll do all they can to wreck the economy – and they’re giving it their best shot. I’m sure Wall Street wants a Republican in charge, and they’ll do their part..)
      2. “If people don’t feel better about government run health care, I don’t think he’ll win.” (So, they’ll first demonize it, and then lie their asses off about it, and before people have a chance to understand and appreciate what it does for them and their families, they’ll turn the country against The Affordable Health Care Act, oh, I mean ‘ObamaCare’, and defund as much of it as we can so it won’t work. Then they’ll point their fingers at it and say “SEE!”).
      3. “If gas prices are at $5 to $6 dollars, he certainly isn’t going to win.” (So, this explains the big jump in gas prices and where prices are headed as the 2012 election cycle starts to heat up. Big oil wants a Republican in charge. Gas has already risen 53 cents a gallon in the last 3 months and it is rising daily. This is political.)

  15. Has Trump been revealed as a fool? Or vindicated by getting the president to produce the full document? A little of both, I think. The White House’s timing was odd. Why not wait til Trump is locked into hosting his TV show for another year?

    We now have a clear precedent of a public official not just producing the core document to disprove a conspiracy theory, but further documents to back himself up. Here’s the audio transcript – from a must-read (for Palinhaters) post by Philip Munger – where Palin first says she agrees with this kind of public scrutiny and transparency – and claims she has produced a birth certificate for her son – when she hasn’t. On Obama’s birth certificate:

    HUMPHRIES: Would you make the birth certificate an issue if you ran?

    PALIN: Um, I think the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think enough members of the electorate still want answers.

    HUMPHRIES: Do you think it’s a fair question to be looking at?

    PALIN: I think it’s a fair question…

    And on the equivalent test applied to her:

    HUMPHRIES: I mean, truly, if your past is fair game and your kids are fair game, certainly Obama’s past should be. I mean, we want to treat men and women equally, right?

    PALIN: Hey, you know, that’s a great point. That weird conspiracy theory freaky thing that people talk about, that Trig isn’t my real son, a lot of people say, “Well, you need to produce his birth certificate, you need to prove that he’s your kid,” which we have done, but yeah, so maybe we should reverse that and use the same type of thinking on the other one.”

    My italics. Palin says she has produced medical records and a birth certificate to prove her maternity (and has no objection to the process), but she hasn’t, the MSM refuses to ask for them and stigmatizes those who do.


  16. badmoodman, you have me. After researching the available information extensively, I came to the conclusion that the “Official Explanation” is physically impossible, and must therefore be false.

    Of that makes me a “Truther” so be it. But the cell phone calls from 40,000 feet were not possible; the technology to be able to make those calls from that elevation was not installed into commercial American jets until about 2008. Oxygen-starved fires cannot create pools of molten metal found at the base of the towers. The concrete and steel center cores of the twin towers cannot be pulverized and collapse at free-fall speeds from being impacted by falling material propelled solely by gravity. Assymetrical fires cannot cause a symettrical collapse. Never before in the history of avaition has a jet crashed on dry land and not left enough debris to reconstruct the aircraft. The nose of a commercial jet is not capable of penetrating 9 feet of hardened, steel-reinforced concrete.

    To accept the “Official Explanation” is to accept that the laws of physics were suspended for that day. I don’t buy it. And the Bush Government did not conduct any criminal investigation.

    So, yes. I am a “Truther.” I believe it more likely a faction within our own government carried out the events of that day than a group of Saudis with box-cutters.

  17. BnF: I believe it more likely a faction within our own government carried out the events of that day …”

    Not only that day, but others as well. November 22, 1963 for example. No matter what the Warren Report says.

    • Honestly.. This didn’t take long. Orally Taitz just gave the reasons for “birthers” to keep a hold of their need to believe Obama wasn’t born in the US, to continue to doubt.

      Specifically, Taitz thinks that the birth certificate should peg Obama’s race as “Negro” and not “African.”

      “In those years … when they wrote race, they were writing ‘Negro’ not ‘African’,” Taitz says. “In those days nobody wrote African as a race, it just wasn’t one of the options. It sounds like it would be written today, in the age of political correctness, and not in 1961 when they wrote white or Asian or ‘Negro’.”

      I knew it. So now they will cast doubt about the actual birth certificate, calling into question its legitimacy, by suggesting it is a forgery (and a bad one at that). These people won’t stop because it isn’t about the truth.

      • BnF, you are not alone. I spent two years reading and researching on my own. There is just TOO much that makes the ‘official version’ of those events totally implausible. I think at one point I made up a list of around 200 ‘weird coincidences’ that took place leading up to, during, and after what happened that day. This was all taken from various books, articles and news reports. When you put it all together, all the bits and pieces, it’s preposterous, and infuriating. And it will never be exposed. Anyone who would dare to question it would be labeled a conspiracy theorist or a crazy. It’s unfortunate on a monumental scale.

  18. Specifically, Taitz thinks that the birth certificate should peg Obama’s race as “Negro” and not “African.”

    Oh dear Lawdy, massa!!

  19. Birthers and 9/11 Truthers (or, “birfers” and “troofers”) both believe that the government is out to get us.

    Truthers are the Birthers of the Bush Administration. Extremes of the spectrum.

  20. Let’s see, where did I leave off … Hi Everyone! Cats, heard peepers in the rain last night as I was falling asleep up here … I do miss the lavender twist redbud at my farm in PA though … 😦

    So, my friends flight has been majorly delayed … I took the road less traveled and am exploring the area until I hear back from her … Glad you are all attending to the other matters at hand 😀

  21. Jeebus Keerist, please don’t tell me this board has Truthers.


    I do not consider myself a “truther”. I do not ascribe to any of the many conspiracy theories, including the official one, about what happened that day. I only know this much for certain: our government has lied to us about what really happened that day, and the “official” explanation has too many self-contradictions to be even remotely believable. But believing that doesn’t mean I believe that our government was in on the attacks from the beginning, which is what many “truthers” end up being accused of believing.

    Like BnF, I would like to see all the confiscated videos of what really hit the Pentagon that day. Because I look at that hole in the wall and it is obvious to me that it wasn’t made by an airplane. Now, everyone makes mistakes when speaking, but Rumsfeld couldn’t have made a worse one when he accidentally misspoke (I’m sure) and talked about the “missile” that hit the Pentagon.

    If we wait too long to demand our government tell the truth about what happened, the people who know the truth will be long dead. But whatever the truth is, it is not reflected in the official 9-11 report.

    • I don’t consider myself a “truther” as you put it, or a conspiracy theorist either. I don’t lump myself in any ‘group’. I consider myself a ‘questioner’ in the face of things that I’ve read or observed that don’t add up or make any sense logically, and a questioner of things that have never been fully investigated, answered, or addressed. The questions only triggered more questions. That triggered doing my own researching. I got so discouraged after a time with all I found that I finally stopped, and we stopped talking about it here. Because I no longer talk about it doesn’t mean I still don’t have questions.
      I happen to be a strong believer in thinking for myself and being able to ask questions. I have never been happy about the fact that I have questions..

  22. Americans have been trained to scoff at anything that contradicts the ‘official explanation’. Thinking is a dangerous past time and should be avoided. After all, our government would never lie to us.

  23. Just checking in. So far so good. I’ve been under three tornado warnings since 6am, and my cable company has activated their Emergency Alert System so much, I had to pull up the TV station on the web to get to watch the storm tracking. Looks like there’s another line of storms passing Memphis that may come through here later.

    • Talk show host Nicole Sandler (who often subs for Randi Rhodes) was arrested at a town hall meeting for Congressman Allen West (R) yesterday in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Weird, I was listening to her before she left to head over to the townhall meeting. Apparently she was charged with trespassing. How is it trespassing when you are a constituent attending a townhall meeting by your Resprentative, and asking a question- and trying to get an answer??

      Here’s the video (starting at 3:33):

  24. My inclination is to believe official reports as they’re issued — until hole, if any, appear. After that, legitimate questions need to be asked in the hope that they will receive legitimate answers. That doesn’t always happen. And when, after a legitimate question is asked concerning an obvious hole and the answer is the one that defines all who ask legitimate questions as conspiracy nuts, at about that point one can be fairly certain that the questioners are onto something.

    Nothing of that ilk applies in any way to Obama’s birth or his certificate of birth, extremely simple questions that were quickly and satisfactorily resolved. Can’t say the same about 9-11, can’t say the same about the JFK assassination.

  25. I’m not a conspiracy theorist in general. Too many people needing to keep too many secrets to pull it off (particularly on large-scale theories such as the moon-landing or 9/11). That seems unmanageable in the current day-and-age.

  26. People were arrested at Bush events too. Esp. if they let out any hint that they weren’t Bushies to the core. See, in Amurka, you’re only a “constituent” if you buy the bullshit on the stage.

    Watch the films of, e.g., Hitler at Nuremberg in his early years as BMOC. The hundred thousands in attendance were all “constituents.” They’re easy to spot.



  27. I guess Nicole missed posting her Tuesday podcast show, and wasn’t able to do one at all today. I’m watching her site to see when she has a new post up, but nothing yet. I think Randi is back today, so maybe she’ll have something to say about it.

  28. That may be an interesting exercise. Bernie will filibuster it, and the question will become, will enough Dems vote for cloture to move it to the floor?

  29. Good to still be reading you House.
    Why does gawd so punish the south with such weather/s

    Thanks for letting us know you are well and safe.

  30. Dan Simmons has a book at insurance claims adjustment (by far his worst that I have read), but there was this little nugget on explanations for disasters:

    Occam’s Razor:

    All things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually correct

    Darwin’s Razor:

    All things being equal, the simplest explanation is due to human stupidity

  31. Ah, Occam’s Razor. I wanted to mention that in my post, but I could not remember the name. I kept thinking Schroedinger or Heisenberg (which I knew weren’t the ones I was after).

    • This is a rather interesting video:
      Superconductivity Dance Flash Mob

      Created for the online science museum, this dance flash mob illustrates the behavior of electrons in a superconductor. Superconductors are materials which, at very low temperatures, can conduct electric currents without any resistance. That means that the current can flow forever with no energy loss.

  32. Schrodinger’s cat: I ahd this project that had to go to the CFO’s desk for resolution (except I wasn’t invited to defend it – first reason for dissatisfaction), the decision was supposedly made, but I sat around for 2 days waiting for the outcome to be communicated. My friend hears me talk about this as a Schrodinger’s Cat problem – the existence of my project is a probability wave function which will resolve itself to 1 or 0 by opening the lid on the box.

    My friend nodded sagely at my wit and said: “So you are the cat, right?”

    He was right, project is dead, my role in the group is going away by August 31st…. woo hoo.

  33. Schrodinger’s cat ala 2011. If you put a Republican in a box and it becomes a miasmic cloud of probability, are you a criminal or an idiot to even think about opening the box?

  34. First? The trivial.
    I’ve noted that the TP trolls are avoiding the birth certificate issue like death itself. It will be interesting to see if the junior members assault the “dead” threads once school is out.

    Here’s my take on the 9/11 attacks:

    Bushco was so incompetent that they couldn’t allow a fair appraisal of events. That, to say the least, has led to lingering doubt. I have seen more evidence for a plane striking the Pentagon than any of the other options.

    As for the Two Towers? It’s impossible to model a couple-hundred thousands of pounds of jet fuel burning in a skyscraper or the effects of a few-hundred thousands of pounds of airplane striking same. The impact and burning fuel would cause catastrophic damage. It would also ignite materials, that under normal conditions would be considered non-flammable, in the building. It would also ignite the aluminum and magnesium from the aircraft. These materials burn hot enough to act like a giant cutting torch.

    It seems entirely plausible to me that the simple act of the impact would have caused damage, cracked concrete and overstressed steel, all the way to the ground. The “cutting torch” effect led to the free fall of the buildings above the impact and, in a weakened structure, gravity could do the rest.

  35. Pete,
    I follow you on the glass and aluminum “drapery” structure as well as some of the steel structure, but as an engineer never understood how the reinforced concrete core collapsed clear to the ground.

  36. Remember this guy?:

    “Resentment of the U.S. government and suspicions over the 9/11 attacks have surfaced in
    writings by the Californian identified as the man fatally wounded in a hail of return fire.”

    If only more people were carrying guns in Starbucks this could have been avoided. I suppose it was only a matter of time before the Truthers started getting in on the shootings.

  37. The Twin Towers didn’t actually have a concrete core. It was also a “tube” steel construction. Sever enough of the members, and the structure is fatally compromised.

  38. Three buildings collapsing in a manner that would make professional demolition experts drool and only two having been hit. Dang tricky terrorists.

  39. muse,
    In Building 7, the fuel for Rudy’s emergency generators caught fire and caused a symmetrical collapse of the structure. 😯 Actually, Con Edison crews had been called in about 4 hours before it fell and disconnected all electrical feeds without noting any problems.

  40. zxbe, just as being hit in the upper levels caused two towers to collapse in precision, debris falling the the top of a third building caused it to do the same. Happens all the time.

  41. The thing I don’t buy in the 9/11 conspiracy theory, which seems central to the theory: “it’s never happened before.”

    They said the same thing on the Titanic as it was sinking.

  42. zxbe, I haven’t really heard that one. Most say, this isn’t the first time the government has lied to us to protect national insecurity.

  43. Woman discovers her husband delivered President Obama

    I hadn’t seen nor heard this aspect. Love it! Irrefutable that there was a conspiracy on the ‘new’ long form being forged under the auspices of everyone in the entire world (well except Castro and Kim Jong-il).

    Her husband having died five years before Obama became Pres. rules him out of the ‘cover up’.

    Irrefutable. End of sentence. Full stop.

    I hope this chafes Orly’s ass.

  44. Trump will say “I heard she’s a setup.” And thus will it become so to the wingnut mindset. (I apologize for using the word “mind” and “wingnut” within the same context).

  45. One is forced to compare the manufactured furore about Obama to the chirping crickets surrounding the past of one Chimpy Q. McFlightsuit…..

  46. I may be losing power soon. My lights are flickering. No storms are tracking toward me right now, but a large one is moving across north of me. The way they are talking it’s a large tornado, maybe an F3.

  47. I’m not in danger, but if I couldn’t check in and the news started talking about a big tornado hitting here, well, y’all might wonder. So far, I’ve had several brownouts, as the grid kicks out in the stricken areas.

  48. house,
    Get a UPS – that way you can report as your roof soars away. 🙂

    Seriously, be alert! You say that you have access to a nearby storm shelter, use it!

  49. Hi Critters:

    I’m having resource problems with my computer. Several websites I visit, including The Zoo, will cause my pages to become unresponsive if I have other windows open. I also cannot send out email. I downloaded and ran the Malwarebytes program and eliminated 4 viruses, but I still can’t watch msnbc live and read TP, TPM or C&L. Should I uninstall Outlook?

  50. pachy, I would say remove as much of IE as possible, install Firefox or Chrome as your browser and never, ever install Outlook.

  51. Outlook can be exploited to import toxins, but if the system has been cleaned that might only prevent future issues.

    The basic things to do include deleting all the temp files from your browser and rebooting. That will be under “Tools” for any browser, in IE it is then under “Internet Options,” and in the “browsing history” of the drop down meny you’ll see a “delete” button. If deleting just the temp files does not help, then delete the cookies as well. When these files get corrupted they can prevent specific sites from being accessible.

    Make sure all of your files and applications are up to date. Five years ago, MS products were a laughing stock of security. But these days, they are some of the best in the business — IF you keep your system up to date.

    I would add (for future reference) everyone ought to be running an AV program and firewall on their machines. (I use ZoneAlarm Security Suite, which is pretty highly regarded.)

  52. Hooda: uninstall as much of IE as Windows will allow, install either Firefox or Chrome as your browser and never ever install Outlook for any reason.

    I agree absolutely. I assume, too, Pachy, that you ran malwarebytes in Safe Mode?

  53. I’ve long wondered — and asked plenty of times — what the hell is money, really? To me, it’s imaginary, basically meaningless, a faux solution that enables some to say “I’m rich” and “You’re poor” and presume those four words have some esoteric meaning that says something special about the ‘worth’ of the individuals. It’s all basically bullshit. Some of the ‘richest’ people I’ve ever known didn’t have two dimes to rub together even as some of the most impoverished folks that have passed through my world have more “money” than they, in their dementia, can figure out what to do with. And then there’s my penniless cat … who makes my wealthy cousin look like the pauper he truly is. Etc.

    Ran across this today on Interesting read. Puts “money” in its place.

  54. Money, first off, is a medium of comparison, a point that Aristotle first (to my knowledge) pointed out. Absent some social construct such as money, there is no good way to make an intelligible comparison between the products of the cobbler and those of the carpenter. Yet the shoemaker needs a house, and the house-builder needs shoes.

    Even more importantly, money is an engine of economic growth. So long as money is shackled to some physical object such as gold, the possibilities of economic growth are limited to the availability of the physical object. Unbound from such arbitrary limitations, the possibilities of real growth become substantial.

    This is why running an economy is not the same as running a corner grocery store, which is the ultimate point of ECON 101 that conservatives have so repeatedly demonstrated themselves incapable of grasping. One cannot simply print one’s way out of an economic downturn, because the relational logic is not one that you can arbitrarily legislate. (Insofar, money is as real as the number “e”.) On the other hand, managed with some conscious deliberation, one can grow one’s economy out of a downturn. This is why deficits don’t matter. The deficit is fixed to absolute numbers, but the meaning of those numbers will change and, if the economy is growing, diminish in significance without any effort being spent on actually paying the deficit down.

    This is how the deficit from WWII was eliminated. At that time, the debt was 115% — 120% of GDP, which is to say, we owed significantly more than the entire content and capacity of the US economy. That debt-to-GDP ratio was significantly higher than what we face today.

    • Did you guys ever see that episode of The Twilight Zone? The one called “The Rip Van Winkle Caper”? It was interesting. It puts the whole greed and money thing, and what has value or is valuable in perspective.
      Here’s a rundown of the plot:

      To escape the law after stealing $1 million worth of gold bricks, a band of four gold thieves, led by scientist-mastermind Farwell (Beregi), hide in a secret cave in the desert. Farwell has designed suspended animation chambers and set them for 100 years, figuring that by 2061, nobody will remember the robbery and the gang will be in the clear.

      When they wake up, everything starts to go awry. One of the gang is already dead, a mere skeleton, because a rock had fallen and shattered his glass chamber. Greed soon begins consuming the others. Brooks demands that DeCruz drive the getaway car. DeCruz kills Brooks by running him over with the getaway truck, but then finds that the brakes do not work and barely escapes before the vehicle crashes into a ravine. Consequently Farwell and DeCruz must walk through the desert in summertime, carrying as much gold as they can.

      Later, Farwell, who is older and somewhat obese, loses his canteen, and DeCruz forces him to ante up one gold bar for each sip of water. When the “fee” goes up to two bars, Farwell strikes DeCruz with the gold bricks, killing him. Farwell then continues to a highway, lugging the gold he refuses to abandon. Finally, weak and dehydrated, he collapses. A futuristic car drives up and Farwell offers his gold to the couple inside in exchange for water and a ride to the nearest town, but expires a few moments later.

      As the man gets back into his car to report Farwell’s death to the police, he quizzically remarks to his wife, “Can you imagine that? He offered this to me as if it was really worth something.” The wife vaguely recalls that it had, indeed been valuable sometime in the distant past. The husband replies, “Sure, about a…. hundred years or so ago, before they found a way of manufacturing it,” and tosses the gold bar away.

      Closing narration
      “ The last of four Rip Van Winkles who all died precisely the way they lived, chasing an idol across the sand to wind up bleached dry in the hot sun as so much desert flotsam, worthless as the gold bullion they built a shrine to. Tonight’s lesson…in the Twilight Zone.

      They have it on YouTube. It’s broken up into 3 parts. Here’s part three (the end):

  55. muse,
    Now the copper-zinc pennies cost more to produce then thy are worth and are worth less as currency than they are worth as raw materials.

  56. Muse, Gary, that was what I was getting at. Money is …

    To my cat, worthless; if she knew what a contrivance was, she’d call money a contrivance. Great insight on her part.

    Still, a necessary evil for obvious reasons.

    Next question: Are Republicans necessary? Evil, yes, but necessary? I vote no.

    So does Shadow, my cat.

  57. I am happy to report that I have safely returned from the airport, and subsequent dinner with my friend … Suddenly, I am feeling very sleepy … goodnight to you all, unless this feeing is just a pre-nap false alarm, in which case I will see you all later 🙂

  58. Nice comments, all. Enjoyed the laughs from several.

    Badmoodman, can we agree to disagree? We both have our reasons for believing the way we do, and, absent a real investigation, neither can be proved incorrect.

    Please note I didn’t say our government pulled off 9/11, but that a faction within our government likely did. Read “The Family” by Jeff Sharlet and you’ll get a better picture of what I’m talking about.

    And remember, whether you’re at land or sea, you are always where the earth meets the sky.


  59. “Talk show host Nicole Sandler (who often subs for Randi Rhodes) was arrested at a town hall meeting for Congressman Allen West (R).”

    This is America, where Teabaggers can disrupt Democratic Town Hall Meetings with impunity. But disrupt a Republican Town Hall Meeting and you get arrested.

    That’s called “equal justice under the law.”


  60. Walt, if they have air to breathe, the sky has reached down to them!

    Question, if a glass holds one cup of water, and it has 1/2 cup of water in it, is it half-empty, or half-full?

    Answer: it is full. Half with water, half with air.

    Perspective. Always perspective.

    And, with that, I’m off. (I know, some say I’ve been “off” for a long time!)

  61. Yes, Zooey – he did check in. Haven’t read anything from him since 3.15p. He had been experiencing ‘brown out’ power interruptions.

    Hope he’ll be able to check in.

    (these storms/tornadoes have been all day but especially destructive early evening (CST).

  62. Oh jebus kristo – Orly Taitz is f’g nuts. There is absolutely no doubt about it.
    I can only (or really don’t want to) imagine her and the Dump in a room discussing the birth certificate.
    L.O’D – should have cut her off the first time she showed the Selective Service Sh!t.

  63. Hi folks… just a quick hello before retiring under the lights of a Walmart parking lot for the evening. Lots of nighthawks swooping about, there is enlightenment everywhere!

  64. Definitely take earthquakes over twisters, but I grew up with the former.

    Last word I got on Birmingham was from a colleague in the South/Central part of the city. An F5 had passed to the north, creating as yet unknown havoc. (From the movie Twister, an F5 was characterized as, “The finger of God.”)

    Welcome to the world of global warming. All that energy in the oceans and the atmosphere will — as a matter of physical necessity — “express” itself somehow. And this is what I’m moving back to, come mid-May.

  65. And this is what I’m moving back to, come mid-May

    You’ll have to check in during or after nasty weather!

    House is in the n/e of Alabama if I recall.

    “The finger of God.”

    I was under the impression that the ‘big guy’ only destroyed the ‘heathen’ city and states. Why would he visit such devastation on the bible-belt?

    Be safe House; Outstanding and anyone else in its path.

  66. House is, I suspect — I hope — suffering from an internet disruption, a not surprising consequence of that weather.

    Perhaps it would be worth the investigation of the “hive mind” into ways of rapidly re-establishing communications in emergencies. I am not kidding when I say that such weather patterns are an expected consequence of global warming, and thus can be expected to increase in frequency.

    Basic survival mandates that we all maintain 72 hours of food and water. Any interruption of those staples that extends longer than that represents a fundamental breakdown in civilization, at which point what you need is a 10 gauge shotgun and two foot thick walls against the zombie apocalypse. But the rest of the time, when Mastercard is meaningless yet you’d still like to contact the outside world, what are the real options?

  67. Agreed on all excellent points in your last posting, Gary.

    The effects of global warming have been announcing themselves with greater frequency.

  68. Oh, no – the numbers have doubled in just the last 90 minutes.

    It’s gone all the way through VA and expected to hit the Carolinas.

    I’m having an uneasy feeling.

  69. Are you experiencing unusual weather in the NE, lass o’?

    These tornadoes and floods. Thunderstorms, etc are very worrisome to me. We don’t experience anything like this – at anytime of the year.

  70. Sorry for the delay in responding, Ebb … technical difficulties …

    NOAA reports Hazardous Weather in the area as some severe thunderstorms/wind gusts/rainfall accumulation, etc. The Albany/Adirondack forecast (VT) is different that the MA/CT/RI (NH) forecast, in that the “VT” side suggests tuning into the weather radio station for more localized reports … In fact, as I was driving from VT to NH yesterday afternoon, the EBS warning came on for severe weather, giving times through Grafton and surrounding areas … I couldn’t get the particulars, as the radio signal was weak in my truck; I also cannot confirm this through thr Nooa website … In answer to your original question though …

    It appears that this weather pattern is not “usual” for this area this time of year … 🙂

    And my heart also goes out to those who have experienced trauma and loss related to these and other weather related events throughout the country …

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